Su Wu, courtesy name, Su Ziging, came from Duling, and was a high-ranking minister known for his loyalty and sincerity. He was an attendant in his father’s military staff, and was eventually appointed Leader of Court Gentlemen, entrusted with diplomatic missions.
In this extremely large figure, Su Wu is poised with his turquoise glazed fan and white glazed fly whisk, (Ruyi), in his hands which were considered instruments of dandyism in Chinese culture. His white hair is beautifully detailed throughout, as is his face, including his large eyebrows. There is a beautiful deep coloration of his garment, with blue, green, and accents of yellow ochre accenting the figure. Under his robe is a white shirt that has nice detailing. His face and hands are unglazed. The final prominent feature is his large straw hat, (douli), meaning one-piece bamboo hat.
Su Wu’s steadfast loyalty to the Han was recounted in numerous songs, poems, and plays throughout Chinese history. In painting, he is most popularly depicted as a lonely shepherd tending his sheep, epitomizing his refusal to work for the enemy.
Condition: Pristine and excellent: no chips or missing elements, repairs or crazing. This figure has an impressed stamp of “CHINA” on the bottom, indicating this piece was made between 1890-1919, after which time the mark changed. 4-3/4”w x 13-1/2”h (12.0cm x 34.29cm).
Please refer to our Discovery section for historical information on Shiwan Ceramics | Mud Figures, and our Book section, for out- of-print books for sale on the subject.
Excellent Condition- In unused, or like-unused condition. No visual or structural or surface wear or damage shown. Pristine. As good as the day it was made.
Great Condition- Appears in slightly used condition but looks "Like New". Some minor wear, but retains the original craft/workmanship. May show minor wear, that does not affect the main design, or associated motif. No cracks, dents, chips or missing elements.
Good Condition- Minor wear which can be restored or repaired; may have surface flaws, like staining or soiling, confined to a small area. The flaw(s) are counterbalanced by another feature, like brilliant color or innovative design. Some fading or the piece may have been altered in some fashion.
Fair Condition- Main aesthetic/design showing damage. Excessive noticeable wear or damage. Worth buying if can be restored/repaired because of its aesthetic or design appeal or rarity. Note: wear/damage consistent with age/use can often enhance the 'Antique' qualities of a piece, giving it a desirable second chance in one's collection